By Hassan Zaggi
In the next few weeks, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) will begin to use the internationally recognized laboratory owned by the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) to ascertain the quality and efficacy of products in Nigeria.
This is the outcome of the agreements reached between the two agencies when the Acting Director General of NIPRD, Prof. Olubayo Kunle, paid a courtesy visit on the CPC Director General, Bar. Babatunde Irukera, in Abuja, yesterday.
With this new development, the quality of products consumed by Nigerians will dramatically improve.
NIPRD laboratories have attained ISO 17025. Before that it has earlier attained international ISO 9001-2008 certification of quality management system.
With these certifications, whatever results NIPRD published will be accepted without any further investigation and test by over 183 countries.
NIPRD has the capacity to conduct test on products including cosmetics, foods, drugs, chemicals, biological agents and many others.
NIPRD also has globally recognized scientists and professors who are heads of departments in the agency.
Speaking with The AUTHORITY, the NIPRD Acting Director General, Prof. Olubayo Kunle, disclosed that with the partnership with CPC, Nigerians should expect better quality products and better protection.
This, according to him, is because the partnership his institute has entered with the CPC is aimed at ensuring that “what they get is what they are paying for and what they deserve.”
According to Prof. Kunle: “CPC is an organization that is useful to us and has areas where NIPRD can collaborate with it. This is because we have laboratories, we also have expertise that can be useful to the Council carrying out its work.
“We have paid them a visit to let them know what we can do and the areas in which we can collaborate.”
While applauding the CPC Director General for the partnership, Prof. Kunle, said that he is excited because “we have been able to create awareness on what NIPRD can do. With my discussion with the CPC DG, we have seen areas where NIPRD and the Council can work together, especially with NIPRD providing data and laboratory support for the Council’s work.
“Specifically in the areas of drugs, food, drinks, and quality analysis so that validated statements can be made on the quality of these items that are consumed in this country.
“We have particularly let them know that we have an ISO certified facility so that the result that come from us will be acceptable universally so that the Council can make statements with confidence with results backed up from our facilities.”
On his part, the CPC Director General, Bar. Babatunde Irukera, lamented the dearth of research in Nigeria, noting that the failure of research is manifesting in the country.
He, however, warned that if the government fail to take urgent steps to fund and improve research in the country, the consequences will continue to hunt Nigeria for a long time.
Bar Irukera insisted that NIPRD is a credible organization and that if it can be properly position to perform its functions optimally, Nigeria will be better for it.
He charged NIPRD to get involved in resolving controversial issues in the country for the good of Nigerians.